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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > NFL deal with Bose bans Beats, other headphone brands from games

NFL deal with Bose bans Beats, other headphone brands from games
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MacNN Staff
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Oct 5, 2014, 04:54 PM
Apple-owned designer headphone brand Beats by Dre is taking another hit in the professional sports arena. It was uncovered that a recent deal between Bose and the National Football League (NFL) will ban other headphones on game days as a part of the exclusive league sponsorship. While the ban is in effect for all other headphone manufacturers, Beats argues that its headphones are important to players.

The NFL confirmed the deal to Recode, as well as the rights it entails. Under the agreement, Bose was given a "broad set of rights" that prevents coaches and players from wearing other brands during televised interviews and on-camera appearances. The ban is in effect from before kickoff until 90 minutes after the game, including post-game interviews. Players are also restricted in training camps before the pre-season and during practice.

However, the NFL tried to clarify that the ban wasn't on behalf of Bose. A spokesperson said that policies have been in place that limit branding seen on the field and during interviews.

"The NFL has longstanding policies that prohibit branded exposure on-field or during interviews unless authorized by the league. These policies date back to the early 1990s and continue today," said the NFL spokesperson. "They are the NFL's policies -- not one of the league's sponsors, Bose in this case. Bose is not involved in the enforcement of our policies. This is true for others on-field."

Beats didn't appear to agree with the deal, as it issued a statement that their headphones have become important to players. A Beats spokesperson emphasized the "significant positive effect" of music, stating that it's "as important to performance as any other piece of equipment."

"Over the last few years, athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual," said the spokesperson.

The exclusive sponsorship deal isn't the only one to affect Beats in recent history. The headphones were banned -- as were others -- from the 2014 World Cup due to Sony's exclusive licensing deal with Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Sony handed out headphones to every player participating in the tournament under the terms. However, several players didn't heed the ban, most notably Brazil's Neymar. The press generated more advertising for Beats, which was heightened by the company gifting the German national team 24-carat gold Beats Pros to commemorate their victory.

( Last edited by NewsPoster; Oct 6, 2014 at 06:03 AM. )
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Oct 5, 2014, 08:14 PM
Nothing wrong with Bose but windows surface? That just doesn't make sense.
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Oct 6, 2014, 09:02 AM
At first, I wrote off the call for the NFL to lose its non-profit status as just feminist bile. But the huge salaries, the heavily tax-subsidized stadiums, the legalized monopoly, and now this aggressive move into lucrative on-screen branding have changed my mind. The NFL not only needs to become the NFC (National Football Corporation), we need to make sure its politician friends aren't able to insert loopholes for it into tax law. Little plumbing companies pay business taxes. Let the NFL/NFC be forced to play by the same rules.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
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Oct 6, 2014, 09:59 AM
Interesting points Inkling. It is certainly the most profitable NFP I've ever heard of.

And I was thinking that they simply didn't want 'NFL' and 'beats' in yet another headline given the recent domestic problems they were having...
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Oct 7, 2014, 04:44 PM
ouch! I didn't think of that, azrich. If that isn't the actual reason, it certainly is spinnable that way. Pay your taxes NFL!
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